Signed, Mata Hari by Yannick Murphy
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



In the cold October of 1917 Margaretha Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, sits in a prison cell in Paris awaiting trial on charges of espionage. The penalty is death by firing squad. As she waits, burdened by a secret guilt, Mata Hari tells stories, Scheherazade-like, to buy back her life from her interrogators.
From a bleak childhood in the Netherlands, through a loveless marriage to a Dutch naval officer, Margaretha is transported to the forbidden sensual pleasures of Indonesia. In the chill of her prison cell she spins tales of rosewater baths, native lovers, and Javanese jungles, evoking the magical world that sustained her even as her family crumbled. And then, in flight from her husband, Margaretha reinvents herself: she becomes an artist's model, circus rider, and finally the temple dancer Mata Hari, dressed in veils, admired by Diaghilev, performing for the crowned heads of Europe. Through all her transformations, her life's fatal questions---was she a traitor, and if so, why?---burns ever brighter.

About Yannick Murphy

See more books from this Author
Yannick Murphy is the author of Stories in Another Language, The Sea of Trees, and Here They Come. She lives in Reading, Vermont, with her husband and three children.
Published January 1, 2007 by Abacus. 224 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Signed, Mata Hari

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Mata Hari survives typhoid and eventually persuades MacLeod to move back to Europe.

| Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Imagine, if you care to, a high school stage packed with fresh-scrubbed Oklahoma teenagers, shrilly belting out a ballad of tribute to a woman of mystery whose passions they can’t conceive, whose name they can scarcely pronounce: “Mata Hari, Mata Hari — oh what a wicked girl was she!

Dec 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

RT Book Reviews

Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e.

| Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Ninety years after her firing-squad execution, Mata Hari is still the most infamous female spy of all.

Nov 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

Open Letters Monthly

Yannick Murphy’s novel Signed, Mata Hari attempts to give our heroine a voice and, in theory, some autonomy in telling what is in many ways an exemplary tale of exploitation – of Mata Hari by her admirers and persecutors, and by Mata Hari of the Orientalist infatuation of her audience.

| Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

(The case documents will be unsealed in 2017, then revealing whether or not Mata Hari was a spy.) The only consistent criticism of the book was that some of the sex scenes seem more mythological than real—but then again, this is Mata Hari.

Jan 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

Reader Rating for Signed, Mata Hari

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review